You may on occasion have run into members of the Church of Scientology who work, live, or visit the Clearwater and greater Tampa Bay area. They come from all walks of life and from the four corners of the globe.
And wherever you may encounter them, there is a good chance you have noticed their positive outlook on life. You may also notice that Scientologists tend to care about their communities — whether their stay in town is temporary or permanent — and that they are often engaged in community activities.
What lies behind that positive attitude? If you ask them, Scientologists will most likely tell you that as one’s own life is bettered, the natural inclination is to help one’s fellow man and give back to the community in the process.
So it is only natural that the care Scientologists feel for the community extends to their church’s most visual aspect within the community — the properties and buildings. As downtown Clearwater’s largest property taxpayer, Church staff work to ensure that all the premises—through the various construction, renovation and restoration projects—contribute to making downtown more attractive and aesthetic for their neighbors and visitors alike. Simply stated, all Scientologists want each of our Church facilities to play a part in the community—to help downtown Clearwater fully emerge as a vibrant commercial and social center.
And this is becoming a reality.
The new year bodes well for the entire downtown area. In the past three years, the property values in downtown Clearwater have been on the rise, and now, in the last year alone, property values have risen 22%.
On your next drive around downtown, note the ongoing projects the city is undertaking to enhance the beauty of our environment and the welfare of the citizens: the new Memorial Causeway Bridge is nearing completion; the new Main Public Library is emerging as a public facility that will provide spectacular views of the waterfront to all who come through its doors.
Do you remember that mire of car lots and outmoded retail stores that once stretched along the 1100 block of Cleveland Street? In its place is a whole new open-land development — a town lake and four-acre urban park.
Other town home and condominium projects are springing up around the perimeter of downtown’s core. You may even see an arts district appear in the Old Clearwater Bay area — an aesthetic touch to one of Clearwater’s historic neighborhoods.
Church staff and volunteers will continue to work with the Clearwater Main Street Program to bring concerts, art shows and other events to downtown. We can also look forward to the fruition of a new streetscape for Cleveland Street and a new waterfront park and marina for the many outdoor concerts and events that provide a wide range of entertainment for the people of Pinellas County and beyond.
As we all work to keep downtown’s revitalization moving forward as a united, diverse team, we can and will create a community that will be a boon to our children and future generations.